Guided by Skyler Hill // Ellie Alonzo
All photos by Ellie Alonzo.
A short taste of the sounds that came out of Denton, Texas yesterday, September 19, 2014.
Space State 7:15 PM
Walking past Rusty Taco and turning the corner to Dan’s Silverleaf, my ears and eyes seemed to be in a gorgeous yelling match. Looking down as I was walking, the vocals and lights turning and passing through the door transformed the pavement into the ornate tiling of a cathedral floor. Walking inside, I was quickly entranced with the mix played by Space State, the way that no instrument seemed to be laying on top of another in space. It became a moment when music forces you to simply close your eyes while all of your other senses fail. A moment all too missed, but so welcomely returned.
Mac Rockstar 8:15 PM
Seeing a stage occupied by a single person and a single microphone can feel unfamiliar, yet personal. Like the microphone is really the only medium standing between the artist and the listener. “You can’t fuck with everything that the light touches,” rapped Mac Rockstar. Rubbergloves and its dark performance space allowed the Stygian beats and production to fit just like its name suggests. “We need more artists with a vision and a message,” he told the audience between songs. A set to get your mind thinking and your feet moving.
Felt & Fur 10:30 PM
As each song from Felt and Fur progressed, second by second, it felt as if another stroke was painted in a sonic image; as if you could draw a song from thin air and fill a blank canvas. The synths filled the room and the bass jumped right into any cracks there may have been, the vocals jogging over them with light shoes; the guitar was the friend that you turn to every time you think of an inside joke that you know you both would get. In a world with an “index of musical genres” growing day by day, this is a set that will make at least three page flips necessary.
Bashe 11:00 PM
Three people. The ears and eyes begin to fight again as the soundscapes coming from Bashe on the stage of Dan’s Silverleaf sound so massive. Is there another band playing as well? Right now? Playing the same songs at the same tempo in the same key at the same place? It still only looks like three people. The guitarist steps down into a sea of pedals and effortlessly modifies his voice and his orange twelve string guitar. At some points he and the drums sound like one instrument. Is it just two people? I still see three.
A.Dd+ 1:00 AM
Sometimes you hear verses that give you chills and sometimes you hear verses that give you chills two weeks from now. When paired with beats that make it sound like the sweaty guy standing next to you just played the snare you heard, A.Dd+ is a hip-hop book recipe for an Oaktopia show to remember. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls came up in a chorus and gave us a healthy dose of reminiscence, and looking back to see a crowd jumping- the whole crowd- makes you involuntarily do the same. A perfect way to end the first night of Denton’s own Oaktopia.